My family and I recently were able to spend an extended weekend at our BoL, chatting there with our friends, including some others who are likely to bug out to that location. Lots of interesting things were brought up and discussed. A few of them, in no particular order:
There are multiple things that go into the “prepping” part of the survivalist mindset. One thing, as I have alluded to in previous posts, is a certain degree of paranoia. A key part of the paranoia, however, is the ability to turn it off from time to time. A friend of a friend has decided that she will be one of the “first to go, in the first wave,” because she “can’t” prep–she “can’t go through life with that sort of paranoid mindset.” She has a point–you can’t be paranoid all the time. And that’s the trick. When making plans (and backups, and backup backups), be paranoid. Think of all the ways they can go wrong, and add to the plans whatever is needed to make them work. Have the plans ready. Then go on living. As Eisenhower said, “plans are useless, but planning is invaluable.”
Another part of the mindset has to be willpower. You can have all of the good intentions in the world, but if you don’t act on them, they’re worthless. Money shouldn’t be a show-stopper; $5/week can get a substantial supply of stored food in fairly short order. The hard part is in setting the money aside (read: not spending it frivolously), then using it as planned (you did plan, right?).
Planning should be well-rounded. It’s great to have a couple of guns, and several thousand rounds of ammo, but what are you going to eat? Hunting is all well and good, but are you physically capable of going out to where the animals are? Are you capable of bringing the carcass back to “base”? Can you butcher the animal? How long will the meat last? Can you preserve it? On the flip side, you may have several years worth of food stored; will you be forced to cede it to the first person to come by with a gun? And in either of the above cases, what are you going to do when your supply of whatever runs out?
Even after you have all of your preps complete (a truly mythical time, to be sure, but let’s dream), do you know how to use everything? Not just theoretically, but in practice? Having a can of “survival seeds” to plant a garden is all well and good, but if you’ve never actually planted a garden, you’re in for a rude awakening. Have you taken each piece of gear out of its box, turned it on, put it through its paces, until you no longer need the instructions? Have you actually hooked it up, just to make sure it works, that you have all of the parts that were “not included,” and spares for the vital bits?
These, and more, are all things that require serious thinking about. My family and I certainly are; are you and yours?